By Dave Thomas
Whether you are a fan or not of the New Orleans Saints, you probably did not have the Saints starting out 0-4 after the first month of play.
Yes, the Saints came into the season with that much heralded “Bountygate,” a controversy that landed their head coach and several players in hot water with the league. While Sean Payton continues to watch his team from afar, the Saints still have a decent amount of talent on the field. Perhaps, however, talent that is simply underachieving so far in 2012.
After nearly pulling off an upset win at Green Bay last weekend (Packers won 28-27), the Saints limped home to the bayou as one of only two remaining winless teams (Cleveland) in the NFL. The Browns’ status does not come as a big shocker. The Saints’, however, is definitely more of a surprise.
So, what can the San Diego Chargers expect Sunday evening when they meet the Saints in the Superdome for a prime time contest on NBC?
Brees Will Get Plenty Of Attention
Much of the attention will not surprisingly fall on former San Diego quarterback Drew Brees, who will not only be looking for the team’s first win but also a little history.
Brees, San Diego’s first pick of the second round of the 2001 NFL Draft, quarterbacked the Chargers before taking his talents to New Orleans in 2006 as a free agent. Since his time with the Saints, he has gotten the franchise its first Super Bowl title, while also establishing himself as one of the league’s elite quarterbacks.
On Sunday evening, the Purdue product will look for a touchdown pass in his 48th straight game, which would break the old mark of 47 consecutive games with a TD pass set by NFL legend Johnny Unitas (Baltimore Colts, 1960).
While surpassing one of the best ever to play the game, Brees is no doubt more interested in getting his team off the snide, a team that now has little or no chance to challenge the Atlanta Falcons for supremacy in the NFC South.
While much of the focus will be on the man wearing number nine for the Saints, Charger fans also need to note that wide receiver Marques Colston will likely be the go-to-guy for Brees, having caught nine balls for 153 yards and a touchdown against the Packers.
Charger fans will also get to see one of the more popular players in recent history to wear the blue and gold, Darren Sproles.
Sproles, who can run the ball, catch the ball and return kicks and punts, was surprisingly allowed to test the free agent market two seasons ago, winding up in New Orleans.
As Rivers noted during a conference call with the New Orleans media earlier this week in regards to having played with Sproles, “First, as a teammate, top-notch. (He was) one of the best, one of my favorites of all-time and as a player, he ranks right up there as well. He was great to have, the way he worked, practiced and how he worked in the offseason and just the type of guy he was in the locker room and off the field is awesome. Certainly, we’re excited about the backs we have here now, just thinking about what we had last week with Jackie Battle and Ryan (Mathews) complementing each other and sharing the load with the carries and Ronnie Brown having some big third down catches out of the backfield, it’s slighting the guys we have here, but certainly having Darren here all those years and the way he played for us was awesome.”
As most Charger fans can attest to, while they may hold a soft spot in their hearts for both Brees and Sproles, they won’t be rooting for either one come Sunday night in the dome.
For more Local Football Bloggers and the latest Chargers news, see CBS Sports Los Angeles.
Dave Thomas is a freelance writer covering all things Chargers. His work can be found on Examiner.com.